My husband loves wax beans, and I like to grow my beans on poles.
It seems that the options for varieties are limited.
Do people have recommendations for especially tasty and productive varieties of pole wax beans?
The last two years, I grew Yellow Anellino (Giallo G Rosso), from Rohrer's Seeds. They import them for an European seedhouse. The beans are small and curled, with very good flavor. This year I'm trying Neckargold and Gold Marie Vining.
Rohrer's Seeds address is:
P.O. Box 250
Smoketown PA 17576
I have an heirloom wax pole bean called Barksdale. We got it from my wife's grandparents in 1983, who got it from a great aunt years before. They all lived in and around Salem, Illinois. Someone in Seed Savers once sent me a photo copy of an article (I think it was Beans of New York) on the Andalusia Wax Pole Bean, which sounded a lot like this bean. However the seed of Barksdale is longer than wide and Andalusia was supposedly almost as wide as long. Barksdale is an excellent late pole bean, but doesn't germinate well in the heat. Also, during the hot dry time of the summer its pollen appears to die without setting beans. But when cooler nights come and it gets going and it produces LOTS of tender, flat, stringless snaps. A couple of vines of this bean supplies all our familyÂs demand for snaps,Â just late in the season. Barksdale has white seed. Large flat pods 7 inches long and slightly over Â½ inch wide.
Barksdale is available through the Seed Savers Exchange. I, of course, have seed and would be willing to send you a sample.
It's said that for every bush variety there is a pole analog, and vice versa. This doesn't seem to hold true for wax beans, though, as bush varieties outnumber pole types by about three to one. Even so, there are some good ones. Here are two heirlooms you might find appealing:
Corkey is a great tasting, prolific heirloom wax bean originally from West Virginia.
White Hull Pink Tip--a Tennessee heirloom---is one of the prettiest beans you can grow. They start out wax-bean yellow. Then the hulls turn white, with pink tips. The pink follows the zipper string, spilling into the hollows between the filled-out beans.
Unfortunately, it's a bit on the tough side, and makes a better canner than a fresh snap bean.
Both of these are available through the Appalachian Heirloom Seed Conservancy.